Date-a-dog program in Baton Rouge launches

Darian Graivshark
Flyer for the date-a-dog program, created by Companion Animal Alliance.

Ever wanted to date an animal instead of a human?

The Companion Animal Alliance Animal Shelter in Baton Rouge now gives humans the option to do that!

To date-a-dog, you go to the shelter, walk through the adoption room, and decide which dog you'd like to date. Once you do that, you take down their identification number and check them out. Once you've checked them out, you can take them on a date for up to two hours.

The purpose of dating a dog is to help them get adopted. You are given facts about the dog before you take them out into the world. This way, you can share info about them to prospective owners.

CAA is an open and take facility, which means they take in any animal with any condition for any reason. Their mission is to reduce the number of animals entering the shelter with the date-a-dog program. They're hoping to have dogs adopted within two weeks of entering the shelter with the implementation of the program.

"In my opinion, shelter animals are the best animals," Volunteer Coordinator for CAA Laurie Font said. "It's like they know what you are doing for them."

To be able to date-a-dog, though, you have to attend an orientation. The first orientation was held on January 5 at noon. The next orientation will be on February 2 at noon again at the shelter. Once you have attended and signed a waiver, you can be on your way.

"All of the animals pass a behavioral test before they're allowed to be taken out. Most small animals don't pass it, though. I don't know one Chihuahua that would pass it," Font joked.

Date-a-dog is a limited program, meaning volunteers can only go into the two adoption rooms to pick out a dog for a date. A majority of dogs need to be over six months old to prevent the spread of diseases that they may not have been treated for yet. Dogs must be returned before 4:45 p.m. on the day you take them out.

The CAA notes that taking a shelter dog to the dog park is not something they want you to do. They want the dogs to be interacting with people instead of animals to help with the adoption process. All dogs must stay five feet away from other dogs at all times.

Adoption fees are about $75 dollars for dogs that aren't new or puppies. Puppy fees are about $175 dollars. The fee includes microchipping, spay/neuter, and shots.

Humans will know dogs are available to be adopted if the dogs are wearing a bandana that says, "Adopt me!" Some volunteers may even be wearing a yellow t-shirt that mentions the date-a-dog program on the back.

For more information, or questions, email Holly Carville at

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